NSFW: How a Japanese magazine talks about sex

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Japanese mainstream women’s magazines, except for one, don’t talk about sex much. They are full of photos and very little text. If you compare them to western women’s magazines, the contrast is clear.

That’s why an·an is special. an·an, pronounced un-un, is a popular magazine read by girls in their 20s and early 30s. an·an is no Cosmo; it doesn’t teach how to give an epic blow job every month. But an·an has its own way: a special sex edition every summer. They have been doing it since the 70s and it can be as explicit as magazines like Cosmo, if not more so.

I saw one of those magazine ads on a Tokyo train for an·an’s sex edition for this year. I decided to take a look. I went to a bookshop and bought a copy. It must have been quite popular because half of the copies had already gone.

Sex tips

Japan has a world-famous porn industry, so why not ask people there for sex advice? That’s what they’d thought. In the magazine, you’ll see sex advice columns by a porn director and a porn actress.

‘Sex is a cooperation and you need to find what works best for both of you,’ says the porn director. ‘However good you feel, if your moan is monotone, guys will doubt if you are enjoying it,’ he says. ‘You need to use a thin voice or a sweet voice depending on the situation, and add variation when you moan,’ he advises.

He goes on about how guys can get easily hurt by women’s comments about their sexual performances. He emphasises that guys are sensitive beings.

Apparently, you are supposed to say, ‘it was the best sex I’ve ever had’ instead of, ‘you are better than my ex-boyfriend,’ because guys can get jealous if you talk about your ex-boyfriend. Say, ‘I like your big butt’ instead of, ‘your butt is big,’ because it’s more effective to add emotions. And you should say, ‘thank you for coming,’ instead of, ‘you already came?’ because it’s hurtful to say ‘already?’ or ‘not yet?’ to guys.

handjob tips

On the next page, the porn actress says, ‘A lot of women think that guys are supposed to lead when you have sex but it’s only until the early 20s that being passive in bed in acceptable.’ But then she adds, ‘The woman’s role is to give guys opportunities to lead the sex.’

She gives usual sex advice: different positions and blow job techniques. She also talks about six different hand job techniques, which I find quite interesting. I’m yet to meet a Japanese girl who has mastered these techniques and can put them into practice.

Surveys

Japanese guys and sex

Men

This kind of magazine loves surveys (of dubious credibility). This time, they asked ‘100 men’ about sexual preferences. According to them, they found out that Japanese men are ‘more understanding of women’s feelings and they are more loving than expected.’

To the question ‘Do you like sex?’ 87% of men said yes. The most popular reason is ‘because it feels good,’ the magazine says. When they were asked how many dates they go through before trying to sleep with a girl they want to date seriously, 45% of them said they try to on the first date. 25% said the third date. According to them, they need to figure out if they are physically compatible before it gets serious.

One of the most interesting questions is ‘When do you feel a girl wants to have sex?’ The top answer is when she is physically close to them, and the second most popular answer is when she is touching them a lot. In Japan, people tend to keep more physical distance than people in some western countries. It is understandable that in this context, close physical space can be interpreted as romantic interest. This can partially explain why some western girls unintentionally make Japanese guys think they are interested.

The third most popular answer to the questions is when she stays after the last train has gone. This also reflects the cultural context. Many people in Japan need to take the train when they go out.

80% of men think that it’s totally acceptable for girls to ask them to have sex. 18% said it’s OK as long as she is their girlfriend and only 2% said no. On the other hand, when they were asked if it’s OK for girls to tell them what they want them to do in bed, 99% said yes.

Do you want to know about what Japanese guys think of boobs? When they were asked if they prefer to have sex with girls with big boobs, only 51% of them said yes. And apparently, 10% of the guys prefer small boobs. So maybe Japanese girls don’t really need to wear bras with a lot of padding after all?

This one is very Japanese: to the question ‘What do you want to try in bed?’ 34% answered ‘cosplay’. This is Japanese guys’ ultimate fantasy. If you are into cosplay, Japanese guys are the ones you want to date!

The biggest turn-off in bed is a bad smell according to 32% of the guys. But 31% of them said that girls being passive was a turn-off and 22% said they didn’t like it when a girl didn’t seem to enjoy the sex. I hear a lot of stories about how Japanese people are passive and passionless in bed. This might be the area that Japanese people need to work on.

Women

They also asked women some sexual questions.

According to the magazine, 76% of women said that they like sex, 11% less than men. The average age of first sexual experience is 17.6 years and the average number of sexual partners in life is 6.6. Considering the magazine’s demographic is women in their 20s and 30s, the result is somewhat expected.

One interesting result is that 42% of Japanese women think that it’s OK to have a friend’s benefits. It doesn’t mean that they put this into practice but I find it interesting nonetheless.

Sexy photos and porn DVD

The magazine contains 13 pages of sexy photos. It also has eight pages of sexy stories, which mean there are many more photos than stories. Who said women are not aroused visually like men?

Mildly explicit photos are, I think, something quite characteristic of an·an. As far as I remember, a western women’s magazine like Cosmo doesn’t feature this kind of stuff.

Sexy Japanese guy?

The first photo pages feature a famous male actor (whom, by the way, I’m not familiar with because I don’t watch TV). It’s basically a bit of nudity but there’s no full exposure.

Provocative photo

The second series of photos is much more provocative. If you just look at these pages, you won’t think that it’s a mainstream women’s magazine.

These provocative photos come with a bunch of quotes from readers. Let me translate some of them:

  • When I feel his stare, my breasts heat up. ‘Look at me more,’ I think and I become more provocative. (23, Medical professional)
  • When he licks around my ears, I get goosebumps. I can’t think of anything else and I get wet. (25, Secretary)
  • He starts doing it from behind without warning. I want to feel his thrusts forever. (33, Nurse)
  • The pleasure of not being able to move when I put my hands behind my back and he holds them tight. (28, Dentist)

The most intense feature of the magazine is the female-friendly porn DVD. This consists of three episodes of three different couples. You can actually watch some extra content online so check it out if you are curious. (Obviously, the link is also NSFW)

Love hotel guides

This is my favourite part: ten pages of love hotel guides followed by eight pages of love hotel ads.

Love hotel guides

Love hotels are amazing. They are very clean, efficient and fun. Often you find good entertainment such as karaoke, video games, and film collections. (Who sings karaoke in a love hotel? You may ask. Well, I for one love to sing karaoke there.) Some of them lend various costumes for free. With all these, prices tend to be affordable.

I have the impression that women are actually more interested in love hotels than men. Often, love hotels come up with ways to attract women. So it only makes sense that a women’s magazine talks about love hotels. Coincidentally, I know one book and one comic book dedicated to love hotels and both the authors are women.

Guys by prefecture

This is quite silly. They talk about how guys are in bed based on their prefecture.

Guys by prefecture

  • Tokyo: ‘The most sexually aggressive guys are in the east, the shita-machi area.’ ‘Guys in Tamagawa ward don’t have much interest in sex even when they are in love.’
  • Osaka: ‘They actually have good techniques.’ ‘They are selfish in their approach and in the way they have sex. They don’t care about how girls feel.’
  • Kyoto: ‘It is not exaggerating to say that Kyoto people are the most skilful in a relationship and in bed.’
  • Okinawa: ‘They basically love sex!’ ‘They tend to finish early but don’t worry! They are not as inconsiderate as to stop doing it after they ejaculated once.’

By the way, I’m from Okayama. So here goes: ‘They are quite serious about sex. Even though they don’t do it too often, they do it regularly like once or twice a week. But they tend to be mechanical.’ Huh, well, I’m not sure about that.

What’s missing?

Despite the interesting theme, they didn’t really explore the topic in depth. I would say it’s more entertainment than actual education. But it’s just a mainstream magazine, so what do you expect?

If you are curious, you can buy a copy from here.

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6 thoughts on “NSFW: How a Japanese magazine talks about sex

  1. Leon

    Compared to love I feel that attitudes to sex and sex itself are a world apart in Japan compared to the West. Most Japanese porn videos involve Japanese women passively having things done to them and acting like a shy teenager. That is the last thing most Western men want. They want a woman to be actively engaged in sex and able to tell you what she wants and explore her sexuality. If a woman every thanked me for coming I would think that she is an idiot! 😉

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      you are so right! i don't know how japanese couples act in their bed but, according to their porn, we have very different styles. Most guys i know (i'm european) consinder passive women bad in bed and they find hot a woman who is passionate and fierce and she is willing to be in charge sometimes.. I suppose that's intimidating for japanese guys who don't know western women..

      Reply
  2. Jane

    This post is great~ I've had quite a few rants about the lack of porn for girls – and even worse, the lack of any Japanese porn that's actually available. Seems like a reasonably-sized market is being missed: plenty of western girls surely would appreciate that being remedied. Of course, I mean stuff with attractive guys with reasonable anatomy (seriously, I've seen better guys on the street then the guys they put in those videos!)

    Reply

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